Some tours to Sydney area attractions like the Blue Mountains or Hunter Valley will pass by or cross the Hawkesbury River. You can also visit several of the historic towns along the river, including Windsor and Richmond, or visit an oyster farm. To spend more time on the water itself, take a river cruise, join a guided kayaking tour, enjoy water sports and activities like wakeboarding, tubing, and fishing, or rent a houseboat.
Things to know before you go
- Hawkesbury River cruises and tours stop at areas not easily accessible otherwise.
- Bring a hat and sunscreen, and an extra layer if cruising on an open boat.
- Some river boats are wheelchair accessible, but it’s best to check in advance.
- Do not swim in the middle of the river, as the currents are too strong; stay in the bays where there are moorings.
How to get there
The Hawkesbury River meanders through New South Wales, from Yarramundi to the coast at Broken Bay, and offers many access points from Sydney and elsewhere. Bridge crossings include Mooney Mooney Bridge, Windsor Bridge, and Richmond Bridge, while car cable ferry crossings can be found at Sackville, Lower Portland, and Wisemans Ferry.
When to get there
Hawkesbury River can be visited year-round. For water sports, grape harvest, and fruit picking, visit in the Australian summer, which is also the peak season. The rainy season tends to run from June to August. The river also hosts several popular races, including the Hawkesbury Canoe Classic in October or November, and the Bridge to Bridge powerboat race in May and November.
Visiting national parks
The Hawkesbury River winds by several national parks in New South Wales, making it easy to combine time on the river with other outdoor activities, such as biking, bushwalking, camping, picnicking, horseback riding, rock climbing, and wildlife viewing. Options include the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Blue Mountains National Park, Cattai National Park, Dharug National Park, Ku-ring-gai National Park, Marramarra National Park, Popran National Park, and Scheyville National Park.
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